Wine Last Sold on: May 19, 2010
Davis Bynum Winery
2007 'Bynum Vineyard' Pinot Noir
|Region:||California: Russian River Valley (Sonoma)|
|Total Allocation:||Exclusive Allocation|
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The Winery Says:
About This Wine:
The Bynum Vineyard exhibits a rich body, and bold flavors of pomegranate, black cherry, and Asian spice. These distinctive flavors are accompanied by moderate acidity and luxurious texture, and are best framed by he judicious use of French oak from carefully selected coopers.
History: Davis Bynum is distinguished as the first winery to produce a single vineyard pinot noir from Russian River Valley. The vintage was 1973 and the grapes were from Joe Rochioli’s now prized vineyard. Today, more than thirty years later, the heritage of Davis Bynum lives on through hand crafted pinot noir and chardonnay grown exclusively in Russian River Valley.
“Winemaking in Russian River Valley is a true pleasure. No other region outside of Burgundy stamps as distinct a signature on pinot noir and chardonnay. I see my job as winemaker to naturally guide the fruit through the fermentation process, maturing the wine in the finest French oak barrels, all the while retaining the authentic flavors of the region.”
About The Winery:
Davis Bynum is distinguished as the first winery to produce a single vineyard pinot noir from the Russian River Valley. The vintage was 1973 and the grapes were from Joe Rochioli’s now prized vineyard. Today, more than thirty years later, the heritage of Davis Bynum lives on through the hand crafted creation of pinot noir and chardonnay grown exclusively in Russian River Valley.
As the first winery on Westside Road in Healdsburg, California, Davis Bynum was the first to produce a single vineyard pinot noir from the Russian River Valley. The vintage was 1973 and the grapes were from Joe Rochioli’s now prized vineyard. Today, more than thirty years later, the heritage of Davis Bynum lives on through the hand crafted creation of pinot noir and chardonnay grown exclusively in Russian River Valley.
Davis Bynum first flirted with winemaking at home in Berkeley when he was a young reporter working at the San Francisco Chronicle. It was 1951 and he purchased a small amount of petite sirah from Robert Mondavi. Things became a bit more serious in 1965 when he transformed a warehouse in Albany into a small winery, where he made wine using knowledge gained from the extensive library at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1971 Bynum purchased a 26-acre vineyard in Napa Valley with the intention to build a winery. Restrictions on construction in the area led him away from that venture and into Sonoma County in 1973, where he found an 84-acre piece of land that quickly became Davis Bynum Winery.
Davis established a quality reputation for the winery, in large part due to solid relationships with the local community of growers. Grapes from great vineyards, often based on hand-shake agreements, along with “intuitive winemaking”, as he refers to it, led the winery to become synonymous with distinctive Russian River Valley pinot noirs and chardonnays. Eventually, acclaim for Bynum wines, along with other area producers, won Russian River Valley recognition as one of the worlds’ very best for these varieties.
In August 2007, ready to retire from the day-to-day activities of running a winery, Davis sold the winery to Tom Klein and the Klein family, a fourth generation California farming family. The focus on Russian River Valley remains the same and the goal to produce excellent chardonnay and pinot noir is unchanged. Bynum agreed to stay with the brand for three years, providing insight and support.
Varietals: 100% Pinot Noir, Clones 115, 777
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Vineyard: Bynum Vineyard
Fermentation Details: Cluster sorted, berry sorted, cool fermentation
Oak Aging: Aged 17 months in 100% French oak barrels
TA: 0.51 g/100mL
Production: 285 cases
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The Wine Spies Say:
WORLD EXCLUSIVE WINE ALERT!
Today’s selection from the famed and historic Davis Bynum Winery is only available here today and at the winery. This may be your only chance to stock up on one of the finest Pinot Noir available.
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Mission Codename: The Deepest Secret
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Respond to secret intel that Davis Bynum winery has crafted a single vineyard Bynum Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – that may never be available for sale to the general public. Secure as many cases of this wine as possible, and make it available to our Operatives as a World Exclusive wine.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Davis Bynum
Wine Subject: 2007 Davis Bynum Bynum Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Backgrounder: The Russian River Valley, in Sonoma County, produces Pinot Noir of remarkable distinction. The cooler maritime conditions of the region make the RRV ideal for growing Pinot Noir. Davis Bynum’s extended focus on, and love for, the region means that their particular Pinot Noirs are beautifully crafted to reflect the best that the region has to offer. Read Agent Red’s mission report and tasting noted below for the full intel on this exciting wine
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – With the color of a real French burgundy, this wine shows off a darker purple hue than we are used to seeing in a Russian River Pinot. Unlike a Burgundy, this wine has a clear (but slightly darker) heart. At the edges, the wine shows a fine rim of garnet. After swirling, the wine settles quickly, leaving behind fat legs that move quickly down the glass.
Smell – Woodsy huckleberry at the front, followed by blackberry, black cherry and Summer bramble. These are followed cranberry, oak, fine tobacco and exotic spice.
Feel – Lightweight and fine across the front of the palate and then, very gradually, an easy dryness spreads inward from the outer edges of the tongue.
Taste – Dried tart cherry, earthen huckleberry, fresh forest floor, orange infused dark chocolate and mild smoky oak, lead the way. Then, exotic spiced cherry chocolates appear, leading to the smoky, soft mineral finish.
Finish – Dusky and layered, with dark flavors that tail off as the fruit flavors of the wine are replaced by exotic chocolate cherry flavors, smoke and dark minerals.
Conclusion – This wine is classic Davis Bynum, delivering everything that we have come to expect from this winery. Decades ago, Davis Bynum established the Russian River Valley as a preeminent spot for growing exceptional Pinot Noir. Today’s wine carries on the Bynum tradition, giving us a wine that is rife with character, a balanced feel and rich flavors. If you love Davis Bynum wines, please note that this may be the only chance you will ever have to purchase this wine – so stock up. The winery is unsure that it will ever release the wine to the public. Pair with a hearty meal of meat, pasta or strong cheeses.
Below is a recap of our first encounter with Davis Bynum Wines by Agent Red and Dr. Pinot.
For today’s mission, I called upon Dr. Pinot, a trusted asset with a nose for sleuthing great Pinot Noir.
I was given three single vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs, and I needed to pick the best one for today’s wine offering.
Each of the wines was placed in a paper bag, concealing their true identities. We mixed them up and then proceeded to taste through them. Interestingly, the wines progressed from lighter in stye to darker and more rich. The middle wine – today’s wine – was the clear winner, exhibiting the best all-around balance of the three.
A hearty thanks to Dr. Pinot for helping me to choose today’s wine. What follows is the possibly-true story of Dr. Pinot’s own personal encounter with today’s wine:
Doctor Pinot Goes Kayaking
The Russian River was higher than normal for this time of the year due to the late spring rains, making for a quick float down stream from Healdsburg. Padding over to a flat spot at the base of a steep bank, on the back side of what was now considered by some in the area to be the holy grail of Russian River vineyard sites, Doctor Pinot jumped into the shallows, and secured his kayak on the rocky beach.
Reaching into his boat, opening the hatch to the watertight stowage compartment, he pulled out a bottle from an old friend. A friend who used to cajole him each harvest to come back from his station in some unknown, godforsaken place, to decompress by helping with that year’s winemaking at his new Northwest Sonoma County winery project. His friend, Davis Bynum, journalist turned winemaker was great at shaking hands with the growers in the area, and securing fruit from the best vineyard sites in the Russian River AVA for his famed single vineyard Pinot Noirs.
Doctor Pinot opened his treasured bottle of 2005 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir, from a site he knew well, located in the Russian River Valley. This site consistently produced Pinot Noirs with balance and concentration.
Opening the bottle, and pouring the wine into his Reidel “O” glass, Doctor Pinot tasted and closed his eyes as the wine took him back to his college days working as a vendangeur at Etienne Sauzet’s property in Puligny-Montrachet. This wine had a ‘somewhereness’. This land, this place had made its mark, exhibiting aromas of earth and hillside redwood forest floor, layered with vanilla and smoke, that soon evolved into flavors of orange peel, late summer raspberries, wild strawberries and cocoa. Doctor Pinot, normally quiet, but never at a loss for words, could only think of one at this moment in time … WOW!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the Bynum Vineyard in the Russian River Valley region can be seen in this satellite photo.